South Africa will host Zimbabwe in a 4-day Test    Getty Images
South Africa will host Zimbabwe in a 4-day Test Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday gave Cricket South Africa (CSA) a go ahead to host Zimbabwe in a one-off four-day Test. The four-day match between South Africa and Zimbabwe will be a Boxing Day Test. ICC gave the Test a trial status.

The ICC has also given green signal to other nations to host four-day Test on trial basis up until ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup. “Members will be able to schedule four-day games by bilateral agreement and a set of standardised playing conditions will now be finalised,” the ICC press-release said. ICC CEO, David Richardson also stated, “Our priority was to develop an international cricket structure that gave context and meaning across international cricket and particularly in the Test arena. This has been delivered and every Test in the new League will be a five-day Test format.”

“However throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear that whilst context is crucial we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket. The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by members, he adds.

“Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top nine ranked teams, Richardson concludes.